WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - The community of Wiggins is pulling together to help one of its brothers in blue after a fire ripped through his home Sunday, destroying everything inside.
Officer Chris Sherrill and his fiancee Courtney Carlisle are set to get married in just three weeks. Now, the place where they were about to begin their lives as a married couple has burned to the ground, along with all of their wedding decorations.
All that is left for their wedding is a few flowers, their wedding rings, and Courtney’s wedding dress, which was at her mother’s.
Sherrill is also a volunteer fireman for the city of Wiggins, so he’s used to putting out massive infernos. It’s a lot more challenging when the shoe is on the other foot.
“We’re used to always being the ones out there helping people with fires and medical emergencies," said Wiggins police chief Matt Barnett.
Sherrill says he heard an explosion early Sunday morning coming from the back deck. He keeps propane tanks in the backyard area near the grill and pool. He says he saw the flames and quickly ran to grab his dogs and move his fiancée outside before the fire spread.
“They have a lot of making up to do because all of their wedding decorations and flowers and stuff for the wedding got destroyed,” said the police chief.
But once word started to spread about the fire, the tight-knit community of Wiggins and its surrounding areas began to offer their support. Thanks to a few fundraisers online, donations began coming in.
“It’s just been unbelievable,” said Julie Rowell, the Sherrill’s mother said. “It’s just been amazing.”
The police chief says he’s not surprised that people want to help. He says that Sherrill has an excellent track record when it comes to being a public servant.
“He does a really good job. He’s about Wiggins and about the community.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.